Centro de Cultura Ambiental Chapultepec
Ethnobotanic Museum, Honorable Mention
The Environmental Culture Centre is a controversial project proposed by Mexican government. For us it was hard to think of a big construction inside the park, we thought that the best idea would simply be to reforest the site. Understanding this was not an option we thought of a proposal that with a discrete gesture of lifting the forest over a long portico we could simultaneously reforest and have the ECC beneath. The geometry and layout of the ECC allows for an organic flow through the park and once inside it reveals Chapultepec at different levels.
We understand Mexico City as a basin with multiple microcosms therefore, we have proposed a garden that mirrors these historically complex green systems, planting in a way that transitions and changes with the existing landscape. From the wetlands moving towards cacti and volcanic rock and ending with pines and tall perennial vegetation that encloses and shapes the contour of the valley.
Chapultepec is not only about its nature but also about its social and cultural dynamics. The forest is a living diary and witness of history. Jacaranda trees placed as a reminder of the passage of other cultures through Mexico or the cacti and yucas that commemorate the indigenous communities. Each element in Chapultepec gives reference to the array cultures in the city and its complex history. From Mexico’s first invasion to the contemporary migrations, we see today. Each culture transforms the city and its parks, always leaving its seed behind.